CO -FOUNDERS & MANAGEMENT
CO - FOUNDER
Sharon Colpman has been writing plays for 20 years, starting out in community theatre writing bespoke, ‘big cast’ plays for a theatre troupe. She was a founding member of two theatre groups; one in Andover and one in Salisbury, one for community theatre and one for the promotion of female creatives.
In 2012 she was accepted onto the emerging writers’ workshop for Out of Joint Theatre, the Royal Court and Salisbury Playhouse. Having had nine community productions her first professional piece was in 2013 at the Salisbury Playhouse, a short play as part of “How I got here”, for local writers.
After recovering from cancer, Sharon moved to Cheshire and wrote a community theatre piece with Stephanie Louise, devised by women recovering from breast cancer. It was performed at Manchester central as part of an awareness-raising event.
At this time, she also founded Make it Write, as she was experiencing difficulties in the leap from amateur to professional acceptance of her plays. She realised that other writers were going through the same struggle and felt a producing support group for developing artists was required.
Her first full length, professional play, Start Square, about loneliness and domestic abuse in an elderly relationship, was performed in 2019 and 2020 at Hope Street Theatre, Liverpool and the Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight.
“There are no arts people in the sprawling herd that is my family. At 9 years of age, when I announced my desire to play the trumpet, I was roundly dismissed with an exasperated sigh and directed to chop the firewood. I can still use an axe, my whole family can, but they don’t write. Not with pen or pencil. No writers in the herd. No trumpeters either.
I discovered theatre through politics and protest. The performance group I joined was subsequently banned by respectable protest organisations for being too rude and raucous. Just too naughty… a little dangerous even. Somewhat prophetically, I also wanted to be a clown… but watch the short film, Clown Delivery by Mandy Lalley and you’ll see how that ended.
Like a newly greased car salesman, I blagged my way into a theatre arts course run by a Master. About a year in, the conclusion was I was not an actor either, so I moved into production… and then somehow wrote a short play that was produced. Maybe I could write… or at least tell a story.
The reality of creative life in Australia meant I had to work or starve. Without a garret for comfort, I then worked in all manner of projects and operations management while the writing receded. But I had a creative brain and could not turn it off. It filtered through all I did, and it made me a better operation’s manager. My thought processes were wider and wilder than anyone else and I became successful… very successful. Until I was not. Nobody wants a clown.
Back and forward between Australia and England I went. I started to write, to dabble a little bit a few years ago. Just playing. Then I moved to Liverpool from Brisbane and everything changed… totally. I’d found home. The Covid lockdowns arrived too. I have been learning to write for the last few years and I am still working it out, bit by bit. I still don’t really know what I want to write. But I can… it seems… write.
Rupert? He was my favourite bear as a little kid growing up in the back blocks of Australia. A vision of another world. So I took him as a pen name. Bloodied red jumper, a chequered life and trousers, scarf to the wind.”
As a child I loved writing stories and as a teenager fancied myself as a comedian. My jokes turned into sketches and I even had a couple of gags accepted for TV’s The Frost Report.
I carried on with amateur dramatics and sketch and playwriting through my life. My career as a journalist included being both TV and theatre critic. Indeed, until recently I was one of the North West theatre critics for the website The Public Reviews.
Once retired I joined Liverpool Playwrights and with them came up with the idea of a “Beatles-themed” play contest which I christened “Ticket to Write”. The competition blossomed and included many foreign entries, notably from the USA. It ran for five years, mostly at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre.
Through Liverpool Playwrights I met Sharon Colpman who was starting a group “Make it Write” keen to stage plays as well as critique and mentor scripts. As I had some producing experience through “Ticket to Write”, I joined as a Co-Director when it became a CIC.
I have helped in that way since the start and even had the privilege of having two plays of my own “Here is Thy Sting” and “The Budding Mantis” staged two years ago.